Grain-Free Strawberry Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Grain-Free Strawberry Cheesecake Swirled Brownies

Let's all take a deep breath, ok? Right now... 

...there. Let's do that more. Let's make brownies, take deep breaths, and simply be here. 

Last year was a roller coaster: a year of loss, a year of gain. Most of you know that we moved to a new home, but I haven't written as much about the losses. It's easier that way. With in a few days of losing my grandmother, my childhood pet passed. The election was the same week, and emotion loomed in every corner of the city. 

I dove my head deeper into the things I did have control over, and found inspiration where it wasn't before. A few weeks later I found myself talking to my mom about how human beings are innately wired to persevere. When we confront obstacles, we cope and find ways to move on and push forward. We adapt and grow. Sometimes we cry, but then sometimes we laugh, too.

Grain-Free Strawberry Cheesecake Swirled Brownies
Grain-Free Strawberry Cheesecake Swirled Brownies

Last week I read a paper I had written in 11th grade. The paper quoted Walter Elliot, who said: “Perseverance is not a long race; its many short races, one after the other.” 

In a lot of ways, that is just the story of life, right? A sprint, and then a rest, and just around the corner...a sprint again. 

Grain-Free Strawberry Cheesecake Swirled Brownies
Grain-Free Strawberry Cheesecake Swirled Brownies

These brownies are made for the moments between sprints, when you're home alone in your kitchen and just want to play with your food. Hand folding batter, watching ingredients whisk together, and pulling your finished product from the oven: that's the deep breath you need after a long day; that's nourishment for your soul.

Grain-Free Strawberry Cheesecake Swirled Brownies

Anthony's Goods provided me with product to cook with, but this recipe and these opinions are all my own. Working with brands to develop wholesome recipes is one way I keep Foraged Dish going! Anthony's Goods helps me stock the pantry and keep the blog going. I only work with brands that I truly enjoy and use.  

Grain-Free Strawberry Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print This Recipe

A rich and fudgy brownies with a cheesecake and strawberry swirl, great for Valentine’s Day or any day!

Yields: 9   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate (Or a dark chocolate bar)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon brewed coffee, cooled (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • For the cheesecake swirl
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam (I used an all-fruit variety)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line a 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper. Grease parchment with coconut oil.
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine melted coconut oil, cocoa powder, and chocolate. Heat over low heat, stirring until most of the clumps have melted. Remove from heat and allow to sit until entire mixture is smooth and melted.
  3. Scrape mixture into a mixing bowl. Using electric beaters, stir in honey. Add eggs, coffee, and vanilla and beat again. Mixture should begin to thicken. Add coconut flour and salt. Beat until smooth.
  4. Spread batter in even layer in baking dish.
  5. Make cheesecake swirl: Beat together the cream cheese, coconut oil, honey, egg, and vanilla until creamy and smooth.
  6. For swirl: Fill a zip lock bag with the cream cheese mixture. Snip off just the very tip of the bag, and pipe mixture in thin lines over brownie batter. Repeat with the strawberry jam. Then, using a toothpick or chopstick, make swirls through the batter. Here is a video of me making my swirls.
  7. Place pan in oven and bake 20 minutes, until brownies are puffy, and a knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Store in covered in fridge after first day.

2 Comments

Real Deal Nanaimo Bars (Primal)

Real Deal Nanaimo Bars (Primal)

The first time I made Nanaimo Bars, I had no idea what I was in for. It was an assignment, per say, and I was just along for the ride. Guys, I'm just going to spoil the story now and tell you that in this case, trusting in the journey was the right move --> those bars were amazing. 

A few months later I made Nanaimo Bars again, but this time it was my own inspiration that got me in the kitchen. I want to put a little twist on the classic Canadian dessert. I added lime zest to the custardy filling and topped each slice with candied lime peel. Those bars were 💛💚💛💚💛.

Real Deal Nanaimo Bars (Primal)

So of course I didn't just move on when I dropped grains from my diet: I found a way to make a whole-food, real-deal Nanaimo Bar. One that uses unrefined sweeteners (maple syrup nonetheless, to make these Canadian bars even more Canadian!), grain-free flours, and no custard powder (which is a key ingredient in most Nanaimo Bars), and real cocoa powder (I used this cocoa powder, from Anthony's Goods). 

If you're guessing that these real-deal bars are even better than that first batch I ever made, you're right! 💯 There is no reason to go back to the other bars. 

Real Deal Nanaimo Bars (Primal)
Real Deal Nanaimo Bars (Primal)

Anthony's Goods provided me with product for this blog post, but the recipes and opinions are all my own. Working with brands to develop wholesome recipes is one way I keep Foraged Dish going! Anthony's Goods helps me stock the pantry and keep the blog going. I only work with brands that I truly enjoy and use.  

Real Deal Nanaimo Bars

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free,    |       |    Print This Recipe

This dessert is a traditional Canadian dessert. My spin used grain-free flours and maple syrup, for real-deal flavor.

Serves: 12   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

    Base layer:
  • 1-1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)

  • Middle Layer:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 sticks butter, sliced into 1/4-inch pats

  • Top Layer:
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare your baking pan: line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment, or grease it well with coconut oil. Then, prepare the base layer: In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the almond meal, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, coconut flour, salt, and baking soda. Then, stir in the melted coconut oil and the honey until a consistent dough forms. Press dough into 9x9 pan in an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and set on cool wrack.
  2. Next, make the middle layer: whisk the egg yolk until frothy in a medium-sized mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Pour the maple syrup into a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Boil until a candy thermometer reads 240°F or the syrup just begins to reach the soft ball stage (drop a bit of syrup into a glass of cold water—the syrup should stay as a drop, rather than dissolving immediately into the water, however it should be moldable between your fingers). For the next part, move quickly: while beating the egg yolk with an electric mixer, slowly pour the maple syrup into the bowl in a steady stream. Doing this slowly will allow you to whisk the syrup in with out getting scrambled eggs! Once the syrup has been poured in, continue to beat for 5 more minutes. Then, add the butter 1 pat at a time to the bowl, beating the whole time. Once the pat is creamed into the maple mixture, add another. Repeat until all of the butter is creamed in and the frosting is fluffy.
  3. Wait until the base layer is 100% cool to the touch before adding the frosting (I let mine cool in the fridge for several hours). Then, spread the frosting over the cookie layer. Place in freezer.
  4. Finally, make the topping: melt coconut oil and maple syrup in a small sauce pan. Once melted, whisk in cocoa powder. Set aside to cool at least 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove bars from the freezer and pour the chocolate mixture over top, gently spreading it around so that the entire top is covered. Return to freezer for 15 more minutes before slicing into squares and serving. Store in freezer in air-tight container.

6 Comments

Grain-Free Salted Maple Pecan Pie Bars

Grain-free maple pecan pie bars

I gotta say-- as cliche as it may sound, I never thought I'd turn out quite so much like my parents. If you had offered me a slice of pecan pie 10 years ago, I probably would've passed it up, and left more for my dad, who loves the stuff. Nowadays, I jump on the opportunity to make pecan pie, and am happy to eat it all myself. 

The first bite still makes me think of my dad, but then I'm overwhelmed by Oh my gosh, soooo gooood thoughts, and I just keep on munching. 

Grain-free maple pecan pie bars

My mom, on the other hand was more about pumpkin pie. She would spend the week leading up to Thanksgiving pouring over copies of Living and other foodie magazines, earmarking her favorites pumpkin pie recipes (along with stuffing recipes, biscuit recipes, etc). When the big day finally came, she'd make all of the classics, with funny twists and tasteful turns. Nonsense, right? I would never spend weeks searching for every odd version of pecan pie and then finally settle on making something completely different... 😉

Grain-free maple pecan pie bars

And if you were to ask how I decided to make Salted Maple Pecan Pie Bars instead of regular pecan pie, I'd probably open my mouth to explain. In a voice just like my mom's, I'd say something like "Oh, you know, I just was experimenting," because that's the type of thing I heard her say my whole life. 

But sometimes, experiments pay off: these gooey puppies are caramelly, nutty, and crunchy. They're sticky, but no too sweet. They don't need whipped cream/whipped coconut cream/ice cream just to cut the sweetness, but... we all know that whipped cream isn't really optional when it comes to pie.

Grain-free maple pecan pie bars
Grain-free maple pecan pie bars

Grain-Free Salted Maple Pecan Pie Bars

Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

A thick shortbread-like crust topped with a gooey layer of maple butter filling and toasted pecans. Finished with flake sea salt.

Serves: 12   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe Paleo Pie Crust dough (unbaked)
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel, for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Make the pie crust dough according to instructions. Then, press the dough into the bottom of a 9x9 pan, working the dough so that the crust goes about 1/4 inch up the side of the pan (this creates a reservoir for the filling). The bottom of the crust will be around 1/2 centimeter thick. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in syrup, and cook until mixture is bubbling, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly, 5-6 minutes. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the arrowroot powder and water. Whisk in milk, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Slowly add warm butter mixture, whisking constantly, until smooth. Pour filling into pie shell, then arrange pecans evenly on top
  3. Bake until pie is puffed and set along edges, 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Grain-free maple pecan pie bars
4 Comments